GM/UAW to Talk in Early January: Report

General Motors will begin discussions with the autoworkers union beginning early next month to make plans to comply with a bailout approved last week.
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General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

is expected to wait until early next month to begin talks with the United Auto Workers union, bondholders and the coming Obama administration in its efforts to work out agreements to comply with the terms of the bailout President Bush announced last week, the

Wall Street Journal

reports.

GM and

Chrysler

are supposed to receive $13.4 billion in coming months, but are required to cut labor costs and reduce their debt. If they make progress, they could get an additional $4 billion in February, the newspaper said.

GM plans to begin this week "brief and high level" talks with the UAW, bondholders, banks and suppliers, although it's unclear how much progress they can make with the Christmas holiday coming on Thursday, the

Journal

reports, citing people involved in discussions.

The

Journal

quoted an automotive analyst who said the automakers are likely headed for some tough talks with the UAW, and must come away with significant cost cuts quickly in order to qualify for a second round of loans in the first quarter.

GM and Chrysler are likely to seek the complete elimination of the so-called Jobs Bank, a program in which laid-off workers continue to get paid even when their plants close and they no longer report for work, the

Journal

reports. UAW President Ron Gettelfinger has said the union will suspend the Jobs Bank.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.